I received an email from a client recently that only had 1 line to it that said, “I feel like a fool.” Just reading it made me sick to my stomach. It made me angry. And it made me sad. Most of all, it renewed my passion for the mission of the DRC – to be there for women going through this journey.
I have been there, as many of you also have… where the system, your ex, your family, your attorney, your friends, or others have either inadvertently or purposefully made you feel bad about yourself, out of control, lost or frozen.
For this client, the issue was that she did not fully comprehend how attorney billing works and found out belatedly how much money can be spent in one billing cycle. She did not realize how quickly each text and email she sent to her attorney could add up to create a large bill. The result was that she spent her entire retainer in less than one month and had very little money left to pay for attorney fees.
So what can the DRC do to help a woman in this situation?
1) Help her to learn to ignore those negative voices in her head saying: “you are a fool,” “you cannot do this,” “you are never going to get what you need.” These voices only serve to incapacitate you. As women, we tend to focus on what we feel like we did wrong instead of paying attention to what is going right for us at the moment. This client had multiple glimpses of hope in the past couple of weeks. Little victories. I reminded her that this is a complex process and that she needs to hold on the hope and work to quiet the negative voices.
2) We will work with her to strategize about how to best maximize her time communicating with her attorney. For example, instead of emailing or texting every thought that comes into her head, she will keep a list of issues to send all at once and therefore cut down on the amount of time the attorney will have to bill the client.
3) Finally, and most importantly, we will make sure to let our client knows that SHE IS NOT ALONE.
We have been there and now are here to offer messages of strength. Through adversity this strength is built and together we will make sure that she truly understands that our strength is hers.
“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”
We are wondering: What do you do to quiet the negative thoughts at bay?